5.11 Tactical Load Ready Utility Bags: Use, Features and Review
When we purchase gear, we want it to last. Failures are not only frustrating but can be critical at times. Luckily, bags are very low on the critical level, but that does not make breaks any more annoying.
This is one of the reasons that I like 5.11 Tactical and their bags and pouches. When it came time to find a new hauling solution for gear, I turned to them and their new Load-Out Bags series.
These are all-around great bags. The first thing I noticed was how well built they felt. A little stiff at first, but after a few uses they softened up. When I was using these bags, there were a few things that I was looking for: durability, functionality, and versatility. By the feel of the bags alone, I felt they would do well on the durability part. And I was not disappointed.
Find it Online:
- 5.11 Tactical Load Ready Utility Large Bag 39L: Check Price
- 5.11 Tactical Load Ready Utility Medium Bag 19L: Check Price
- Stackable utility bag
- 1050D Nylon material
- Dual-layer internal and external waterproof TPU base
- Roll up when empty
- Multi-Use design
- Velcro outside for name badges
- Heavy-duty top mesh lid with toggle/loop for open access
- Front, rear, and corner external lash loops
- Inside mesh pockets
- Dual-layer, internal and external, waterproof panels
- 5.11’s signature Center Line™ design
- (39L) 2380 Cubic Inch: 12″ H x 18″ L x 11″D
- (19L) 1159 Cubic Inch: 12″ H x 11″ L x 9″D
The material that 5.11 Tactical uses on their bags is durable, to say the least. It is designed to stand up to the elements and keep water and dirt out. The bottom is designed to prevent your gear from getting wet or dirty with impervious material.
This is great when setting your gear on the ground in mud, sand, or snow. However, this also means that it will hold water and condensation.
That said, these bags have a mesh top so it will not prevent things from getting wet if splashed or rained on.
When the bags get dirty, a good spray with a water hose cleans them right up.
One of the weakest parts of a tote-like bag is the handles. The last thing that you want when carrying something is for a handle to break. Especially if there is something fragile inside. I decided to test the Load Ready bags to see how tough they were.
Putting the bag on a squat bar with the handles holding it, I stacked weights inside until I felt satisfied. The result was 75 pounds! I even left it there for about 10 minutes to see if time would take its toll. Nothing. This bag is rock solid!
If there is a weak spot in these bags, I feel it’s here. The zippers, themselves, are small and hard to use at first. I added a little silicone zipper lube that I had from one of my soft coolers. It did help loosen them a little but using them helps the most.
When using the zippers, you can tell they are lacking. Beefing up the zippers would make them easier to pull and last longer. While they have yet to fail me, this area was the only improvement that I found.
If you don’t need to use the top, then it is easy to roll it and stow it inside the bag.
For the Load Ready Utility Bags, you have a few sizing options. Finding a size that works for your need is the hard part.
I found that the medium-sized 19L bag was perfect for my vehicle essentials and then some.
I was able to fit all these items in the bag easily with room for other items:
- Tow Strap
- (2) D-rings
- Jumper Cables
- (6) Ratchet Straps
- (2) Tool pouches
The bag takes up minimum space in the 4Runner which is a bonus.
I used the 39L bag to put my wade fishing gear (waders, belt, and tackle box) after trips. The bottom ensures that water and sand do not fly around the 4Runner, while the mesh top allows air to enter and dry everything.
I like to make sure that containers can be repurposed if needed. These bags have a ton of uses other than what I’ve mentioned.
The medium bag is perfect to stay in my 4Runner and keep it organized. The large one is used as a general-purpose bag. Hauling fishing gear, groceries, a weekend travel bag, or anything else that I need.
These bags have found a permanent place in my arsenal. If you are looking for a bag or tote that is durable, functional, and versatile, look no further. I am confident that this bag can handle whatever your needs are.
Jesus. Morons. Arguing about the use of the world “tactical”??? Yes, it’s a waaaaay overused marketing term now. And “Tom”, your 5 combat deployments grant you that attitude, did it? Frankly, my various taskings and deployments (22 countries and climbing) over the past 10 years have taught me that NOT EVERYTHING should be in something that’s “dust, oxygen, and moisture tight”. Mold / mildew / general stankiness, anyone?
Someone freaking over the tactical word, and just doesn’t understand perhaps how widely 5.11 Tactical is known and used in the military world, so frankly, your questionable “5 combat deployments” claim is suspicious if you’re not aware that…
“5.11 Tactical” is the name of the BRAND. These are 5.11 Tactical’s (brand) “Load Ready Utility Bags” (product).
There. Does that make you feel better now?
I’m wondering if he’s the manboy pretender, who’s mommy-cosplayer significant-other had a little bedroom run-in with a real “tactical” dude, and so now he’s a little bit wound-up and triggered. LOL.
5 combat deployments have taught me that any tactical load storage bag or box needs to be dust, oxygen, and moisture tight. This is not “tactical”. This is for middle aged unmarried manboys living at home with mommy cosplayers pretending to be in combat.
Editing for autocorrect errors.
Wow, talk about a triggered response, hah! Pretty sure everyone knows that “tactical” is all marketing fluff. Also, don’t let your irrational hatred of the commercial overuse of the term cloud your perception of who would use this bag. Talk about a manboy response, holy shit haha.
Anyway, regarding the bag, it does seem to be made of quite durable material, but that zipper looks way undersized for the purpose the bag is supposed to serve. I’ve dealt with a fair number of gear that was built nicely except for the zipper, and when it inevitably fails, you lose a lot of functionality/usability/convenience. While they can sometimes be fixed, it’s almost always something where you’d have rather paid an additional $5 for a better zipper than to try to fix it or replace it.
Since we’re talking 4runners, and given the site we’re on, I suspect the majority of purchasers will be carrying this while running dirt roads or rock crawling. These types of bags are just not ideal for something to have in the car. It’s better to go with a more modular system that can stack upon themselves, be strapped down securely, and fit together tightly. I’ve ran with different bags before for all my gear on a trip. A duffel bag for clothes. A gear bag for recovery items. Another gear bag for tools. A bag for snacks. Etc etc. It gets messy, stuff flies around, and it’s more prone to being put back wherever instead of organized neatly. Now, I have 8 of the same style totes. I can easily strap them to prevent movement, they make no noise, and everything is organized all the time. It keeps the cab clean and tidy, as well as safe.
Yea Franklin the zippers were the only negative thing that I really found with the bags. Not sure why they decided to put something so small on a bag that is so beefy.
Totally agree on there being a time and place for bags in the vehicle. The smaller one is perfect for my daily gear that I keep at all times, and helps to save some space when I have 3 dogs riding with me. When it’s time for more serious treks and trails I have Plano sportsman totes that I use to keep everything contained and strapped. I just stick the bags inside of the totes while in transit to stay safe and organized. What totes have you found to work the best?
Thank you so much for your service, Tom. My dad completed 4 tours himself and understand the sacrifice that it takes.
I do agree with you, these bags are not “tactical” in the sense that I would keep combat or life imperative items in them. That is the name that 5.11 gave them so I can take no part in that. I merely feel the bags themselves are of good build and quality like most of their products and have found good uses for them. For anything that needs legit protection I personally turn to Pelican. They always treated my dad right in all his time and protected his equipment so that is who I continue to use.
I use a 5.11 rush 25 bag for my car kit. the bag is about 6 years old and spent the first few years as my daily edc bag before I switched to their MOAB messenger bag. 5.11 gear is unstoppable.